Jason Gardener backs Phillips Idowu to rekindle top form

Former Olympic champion Jason Gardener backs Phillips Idowu to put a disappointing London 2012 behind him this season

Sportsbeat
By    
phillips idowu
Triple jumper Phillips Idowu Photo: Erik van Leeuwen/Wikimedia

Phillips Idowu’s disappointing London 2012 might be fresh in the memory but former Olympic champion Jason Gardener insists you write off the triple jumper at your peril.

Idowu came into the capital last summer knowing that an Olympic gold medal was the last things he needed to round off a glittering CV.

But a build-up to the Games that was beset by injury problems and off-field track disagreements with UK Athletics effectively ended any chance he had of claiming Olympic gold, the 34-year-old failing to qualify for the final in the Olympic Stadium.

This season the form that saw Idowu capture world and European gold in 2011 and 2010 respectively continues to elude him.

A season’s best jump of 16.44m at the Diamond League meeting in Rome puts him only fourth in the British rankings and well below the required A standard for the world championships in Moscow which is currently 17.20m.

But Gardener, who won gold in the 4x100m relay in Athens in 2004, is not writing off Idowu just yet, insisting that there is still some fight left in the old dog.

“I am really interested to see how Phillips Idowu reacts this season after the turbulent year he had last year,” said Gardener, a Youth Sport Trust ambassador at Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week.

“In many ways London 2012 was meant to be the place where he stood out with his colourful character and everything that comes with that, including the talent.

“And he had won everything in the build-up but obviously it didn’t go according to plan and he didn’t do anywhere near as well as he had hoped.

“That can be tough to take but Phillips is a proud man, we perhaps saw that for better or for worse in the build up to the Games, and he will want to put that right.

“He isn’t getting any younger and this season hasn’t quite got off to the start he would have hoped but I know he will be itching to put that right.

“He has a lot of work to do and I am interested in seeing how it goes and fingers crossed he can reach the heights he used to.”

Gardener, himself a world indoor champion over 60m back in 2004, has however warned British athletes that the time for dwelling on London is long gone.

The sport of athletics waits for no man or woman and Idowu and co need to continue their winning ways in Russia this summer.

“Even though we had the London 2012 Olympics last year the show goes on and we have the World Championships to look forward to this summer,” he added.

“It gives the chance for those guys who perhaps didn’t do as well as they had hoped at the Games to try again and bounce back and prove themselves.

“We have just had the European Team Championships up in a very wet Gateshead and the team did very well, finishing third with the highest points we have ever achieved in that competition.”

Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week, Britain’s biggest school sporting event, took place from 24 – 28 June 2013. Support your local school and help continue to encourage more young people to do more sport. To find out more visit www.lloydstsb.com/nssw

MORE: Have your say on Facebook

MORE: The latest football news

MORE: The latest tennis news

The Sport Review
Rafael Nadal: the hard road to 1,000
Slideshow
The Sport Review
Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United and Liverpool stars among 16 players out of contract in 2018
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
The Sport Review
20 Chelsea transfer targets Antonio Conte could sign in the summer
The Sport Review
Top 25 Muslim football players in Premier League: Arsenal, Liverpool, Man United and Chelsea stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal WAGs 2017: Meet Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s wives and girlfriends
The Sport Review
Roberto Firmino: 25 photos of the Liverpool forward’s stunning wife
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Chelsea fans will be thrilled by Pat Nevin’s claim about Eden Hazard
The Sport Review
Miami Open 2017: After years apart, Roger Federer takes down old adversary Juan Martin del Potro
The Sport Review
Insider reveals how much reported Man United target will cost